There’s something to be said for heading out on the road and following your nose to unearth new roads and climbs.
But Strava is a great tool to offer inspiration and winter is an ideal time to check out new routes, with long, steady base rides the order of the day and exploring previously unridden roads a great way to boost motivation, rather than using the same tired training loops.
We love Strava’s ‘segment explore’ feature, which enables you to hover over an area and view the most popular segments – great to spot a hidden lane or new climb to tackle, as opposed to trying to unearth a gem from a regular map. The tool shows all segments by default but you can toggle it to display only climbs of a certain category (in the UK, more than likely category three or four). ‘Heatmaps’ is another interesting feature which displays the most ridden routes in a particular area – see where others are riding and head there yourself. Great for your next long base ride.
Once you know where you want to go, Strava have a route mapping facility which allows you to plot and save a course, and then download it to a GPS device. If you’re a premium member and see another user’s route you’d like to check out, you can also grab and directly download the GPX file.